Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Lying

I’ve heard many people adhere to the principle of not lying to  their children and use this as the basis, as did the mother in “A Miracle on 34th Street” to not ‘lie’ about such things as Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.

I personally don’t lie to my kids. Don’t get me wrong. I have perpetuated the stories of all the magical characters that inhabit childhood and bring fun and pleasure to kids. I figure I exist, and as a mother I wear many hats. A few jobs designed to surprise, delight and maybe even mystify my kids is all the more fun for me. And my stature made it really easy for them to accept that I’m an elf.

Now to my point.

My youngest son is greatly opposed to the consumption of vegetables, more so than any of his other siblings. Doctors have told me his health issues would be alleviated if he would eat more vegetables. Meaning I’ve had to discover ways to get him to eat them, which hasn’t been easy.

One of our family’s favorite meals is tacos. Part of the reason we like it is because we can fix our taco how we like them. My son doesn’t eat tacos. You know the vegetable thing. He eats bean and cheese burritos. For some time now I’ve been making him eat some of the lettuce, just a few bites, with each burrito. But recently, something I heard years ago and our own fresh crop of them got me to try something else to get more vegetables in him. Zucchini.

He didn’t comment when I added it to the stroganoff or the first time I grated some and mixed it in with the refried beans. But the other night as we were eating supper he insisted someone put lettuce in the beans. I honestly told him, several times, “I did not put any lettuce in the beans.”

I didn’t lie. Zucchini is not lettuce.

I haven’t even tried it in cake, brownies or cookies yet. Though the very thought we might be hiding vegetables in the foods he does like has him promising he’s going to prepare all the food on his birthday so we can’t ruin any of it.

Well the boy does need to learn how to cook.

Now my sister tells me I lie by omission. I didn’t tell my kids I was all those magical characters, and I haven’t told my son (neither of them actually) what I did put in those beans. It’s not like I never told them, or that I never will.

Just as my kids all discovered the secret of Santa Claus, eventually they will know how to gets kids to eat their vegetables. I don’t see withholding information until they are capable of understanding all the reasons for it as lying.

What do you think?

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